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Optimal Unemployment Insurance Design:Time Limits, Monitoring, or Workfare?

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  • Fredriksson, Peter

    ()
    (Department of Economics)

  • Holmlund, Bertil

    ()
    (Department of Economics)

Abstract

This paper analyses crucial design features of unemployment insurance (UI) policies. We examine three different means of improving the efficiency of UI: the duration of benefit payments, monitoring in conjunction with sanctions, and workfare. To that end we develop a quantitative model of equilibrium unemployment. The model features worker heterogeneity, which takes the form of differences in preferences for leisure. All the instruments are ways of limiting the duration of UI benefit receipt and the model can be used to compare them in a coherent fashion. The analysis suggests that a system with monitoring and sanctions restores search incentives most effectively, since it brings additional incentives to search actively so as to avoid the sanction. Therefore, the UI provider can offer a more generous UI replacement rate in a system with monitoring and sanctions than in the other two systems. Workfare appears to be inferior to the other two systems.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Uppsala University, Department of Economics in its series Working Paper Series with number 2003:17.

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Length: 25 pages
Date of creation: 25 Jun 2003
Date of revision:
Publication status: Published in International Tax and Public Finance, 2006, pages 565-585.
Handle: RePEc:hhs:uunewp:2003_017

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Postal: Department of Economics, Uppsala University, P. O. Box 513, SE-751 20 Uppsala, Sweden
Phone: + 46 18 471 25 00
Fax: + 46 18 471 14 78
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Web page: http://www.nek.uu.se/
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Keywords: Unemployment insurance; search; monitoring; sanctions; workfare;

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References

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  1. Claus Thustrup Kreiner & Torben Tranæs, 2003. "Optimal Workfare with Voluntary and Involuntary Unemployment," EPRU Working Paper Series 03-15, Economic Policy Research Unit (EPRU), University of Copenhagen. Department of Economics, revised Aug 2004.
  2. Jan Boone & Peter Fredriksson & Bertil Holmlund & Jan C. van Ours, 2007. "Optimal Unemployment Insurance with Monitoring and Sanctions," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 117(518), pages 399-421, 03.
  3. Fredriksson, P. & Holmlund, B., 1998. "Optimal Unemployment Insurance in Search Equilibrium," Papers 1998-2, Uppsala - Working Paper Series.
  4. Fredriksson, Peter & Holmlund, Bertil, 2003. "Improving Incentives in Unemployment Insurance: A Review of Recent Research," Working Paper Series 2003:10, Uppsala University, Department of Economics.
  5. Jeffrey Smith, 2000. "Is the Threat of Training More Effective than Training Itself? Experimental Evidence from the UI System," Econometric Society World Congress 2000 Contributed Papers 1660, Econometric Society.
  6. Hosios, Arthur J, 1990. "On the Efficiency of Matching and Related Models of Search and Unemployment," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 57(2), pages 279-98, April.
  7. van den Berg, Gerard J & van der Klaauw, Bas & van Ours, Jan C, 2000. "Punitive Sanctions and the Transition Rate From Welfare to Work," CEPR Discussion Papers 2447, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  8. Shavell, Steven & Weiss, Laurence, 1979. "The Optimal Payment of Unemployment Insurance Benefits over Time," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 87(6), pages 1347-62, December.
  9. Abbring, Jaap H. & Berg, Gerard J. van den & Ours, Jan C. van, 1996. "The effect of unemployment insurance sanctions on the transition rate from unemployment to employment," Serie Research Memoranda 0038, VU University Amsterdam, Faculty of Economics, Business Administration and Econometrics.
  10. Gerard van den Berg & Bas van der Klaauw, 2000. "Counseling and Monitoring of Unemployed Workers: Theory and Evidence from a Social Experiment," Econometric Society World Congress 2000 Contributed Papers 0972, Econometric Society.
  11. Williamson, S. & Wang, C., 1995. "Unemployment Insurance with Moral Hazard in a Dynamic Economy," Working Papers 95-09, University of Iowa, Department of Economics.
  12. Paul Beaudry & Charles Blackorby & Dezs� Szalay, 2009. "Taxes and Employment Subsidies in Optimal Redistribution Programs," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 99(1), pages 216-42, March.
  13. Dan A. Black & Jeffrey A. Smith & Mark C. Berger & Brett J. Noel, 2003. "Is the Threat of Reemployment Services More Effective Than the Services Themselves? Evidence from Random Assignment in the UI System," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(4), pages 1313-1327, September.
  14. Besley, Timothy & Coate, Stephen, 1995. "The Design of Income Maintenance Programmes," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 62(2), pages 187-221, April.
  15. Lalive, Rafael & van Ours, Jan C. & Zweimüller, Josef, 2002. "The Effect of Benefit Sanctions on the Duration of Unemployment," IZA Discussion Papers 469, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  16. Carl Davidson & Stephen A. Woodbury, 1995. "Optimal Unemployment Insurance," Upjohn Working Papers and Journal Articles 95-35, W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research.
  17. Oliver Jean Blanchard & Peter Diamond, 1989. "The Beveridge Curve," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 20(1), pages 1-76.
  18. Boone, Jan & van Ours, Jan C., 2000. "Modeling Financial Incentives to Get Unemployed Back to Work," IZA Discussion Papers 108, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  19. Wang, Cheng & Williamson, Steve, 1996. "Unemployment Insurance with Moral Hazard in a Dynamic Economy," Staff General Research Papers 5088, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.
  20. Hopenhayn, Hugo A & Nicolini, Juan Pablo, 1997. "Optimal Unemployment Insurance," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 105(2), pages 412-38, April.
  21. Terry R. Johnson & Daniel H. Klepinger, 1994. "Experimental Evidence on Unemployment Insurance Work-Search Policies," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 29(3), pages 665-717.
  22. John Hassler & José V. Rodriguez Mora, 2002. "Should UI Benefits Really Fall over Time?," CESifo Working Paper Series 804, CESifo Group Munich.
  23. Cahuc, Pierre & Lehmann, Etienne, 2000. "Should unemployment benefits decrease with the unemployment spell?," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 77(1), pages 135-153, July.
  24. Claus T. Hansen & Torben Tranaes, 2000. "Optimal Workfare in a Society of Workers and Non-Workers," Econometric Society World Congress 2000 Contributed Papers 0758, Econometric Society.
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